Over the past two years Lil Peep captured the hearts and minds of pop music fans throughout the country. His blend of hip-hop and “emo” hip hop – think Lil Uzi Vert or Lil Wop – blended with pop made him an artist of interest and one of music industry’s promising young stars. Lil Peep’s real name was Gustav Ahar. He died last month on a tour bus in Tucson, AZ at the age of 21. Authorities originally thought he overdosed on the anti-anxiety drug xanax. Rolling Stone recently confirmed the rapper overdosed on fentanyl and xanax:

Lil Peep died of an overdose of fentanyl and generic Xanax, according to the Pima Country Office of the Medical Examiner. The rapper’s death was ruled as accidental by the medical examiner. TMZ reports that a cocktail of other drugs were also found in his system. His blood tested positive for marijuana, cocaine and the painkiller Tramadol, and his urine tested positive for those drugs, as well as opiates such as hydrocodone, generic Dilauded, oxycodone and oxymorphone. The medical examiner did not find alcohol in his system.

The Shock Exchange believes you can tell a lot about the country’s mood based on its art, particularly its music. In that regard, millenials are telling us something. The country is in a lot of pain, and the rap music is laced with referencing to xanax, opioids and other pain reducing drugs. In fact, Lil Peep was on tour to promote his debut album, Come Over When You’re Sober. Critically-acclaimed Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted the Great Recession and the Pain Ahead, predicted the pain ahead for the country after the Financial Crisis of 2008 and the pending recession. James Nolan of Vice Media recently implored the country to talk about .

Xanax Problem Opioid Crisis?

Signs also suggest that everything may not have been on the “up and up” in Lil Peep’s death. Authorities are investigating text messages sent to him by a woman who visited his tour bus prior to his death. The text messages suggest the drugs were supplied by the sender. While we know a lot about the effects of xanax, the Shock Exchange is not sure if the public is aware of the potential effects of fentanyl. First of all, it is 60 times more powerful than morphine – let that sink in. It is also indicated for terminally ill cancer patients in so pain that other opioids will not even help.

The proliferation opioid-related drug overdoses prompted President Trump to consider opioids a national crisis:


Drug overdose the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse in 2015 the number of drug overdoses were 52,404, up from 23,518 in 2002 – a 6% compound annual growth rate (“CAGR). Of the 2015 figures prescription drug overdoses and opioid prescription drug overdoses as a total of all drug overdoses were 57% and 45%, respectively. In 2002 total overdoses of prescription drugs and overdoses of opioids as a percentage of total drug overdoses were 49% and 32%, respectively. Overdoses of opioids grew faster than total overdoses. Some experts believe the increase in opioid prescriptions could be driving the increase.

Overdoses from prescription opioids have coincided with the proliferation of opioid prescriptions. According to The Economist between 1991 and 2011 opioid prescriptions supplied by retail pharmacies increased from 76 million to 219 million – a 5.4% CAGR.

To overcome the opioid crisis it will take making the public more aware of the potency of these drugs, reducing prescriptions and hopefully keeping more of them off the street. Rest in peace Lil Peep.


On Trump And The Global Economy

Wuyi, Coconut Rob, Shock Exchange, Professor Brogman stunt for the ‘gram

The second installment of Trump And The Global Economy Town Hall took place October 24th in Fort Greene. It Featured Professor Lance Brofman, Coconut Rob (Coconut Rob Smoothies), Wuyi Jacobs (AfroBeats Radio) and Ralph Baker, author of Shock Exchange: How Inner-City Kids From Brooklyn Predicted the Great Recession and the Pain Ahead.

The event was well-received by the community. We parsed through President Trump’s proposed tax plan and [i] how it was pure economic folly and [ii] high net worth individuals could potentially game the system by shifting income around. Apparently, Kansas Coach Bill Self did this when the state of Kansas cut taxes in the past. We discussed the pros and cons of technology on workers and the economy. How will the economy and country prosper under Trump’s leadership vis-a-vis Obama? What’s behind the verbal sparring with black athletes, ESPN’s Jemele Hill and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un?




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